[OPINION] That Damned ERA

by Rick Petry on Nov 2, 2015 8:30:00 PM ERA 25th Anniversary

Editorial Disclaimer: The statements, opinions, and advertisements expressed on the ERA Blog and other online entities owned by the Electronic Retailing Association are those of individual authors and companies and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Electronic Retailing Association.

At the recent D2C convention, I was humbled and grateful to receive the ERA Volunteer of the Year award at the Moxie Awards Gala on the conference’s final night. Amid the various congratulations and well wishes, I heard another kind of rumble: that ERA was not doing its job, as if the organizational part of ERA somehow defined the association in its totality.

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[1984] When TNN Met DRTV

by Nancy Marcum on Sep 23, 2015 5:00:00 PM DRTV, ERA 25th Anniversary

As part of our ongoing “Memory Lane” series commemorating ERA’s 25th anniversary, Nancy Marcum, founder and CEO of Marcum Media, reflects on her early days in DRTV.

My partner and I launched a two-hour infomercial campaign in the fall of 1984, right after the Reagan Administration lifted [restrictions on] the length of time for a commercial. We tested the infomercial on local cable networks and found the return to be profitable, but small-potatoes. The word ‘infomercial’ did not exist in those days, and national cable infomercial airtime did not exist.

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[1994] Seven Strategies for Media Success

by Bethany Adams on Aug 6, 2015 1:58:00 PM ERA 25th Anniversary

The media buying landscape has dramatically changed in the past 20+ years. Technology has improved so that marketers can more easily identify target audiences, there are more options than ever for media placement, and big data allows us to analyze every piece of the puzzle so spending can be optimized. 

But how have the strategies behind successful media buys changed? This throwback article from 1994 identifies seven strategies for media success. Take a look!

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Why David Ogilvy’s Predictions About Direct Response Ring True Today

by Katie Williams on Jul 16, 2015 3:18:20 PM DRTV, ERA 25th Anniversary

When I owned my ad agency specializing in DRTV back in the 1980s and ’90s, direct response was still the black sheep of advertising—even though we had some big brand names as clients along with DR entrepreneurs. General agencies scoffed at direct response during those early years. However, there was one person who had enough foresight to declare direct response an innovative method of advertising.

In this classic video, David Ogilvy addresses direct response advertisers, stating that “the chasm between direct response and general advertising is wide. On your side of the chasm I see knowledge and reality. On the other side of the chasm I see ignorance.”

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Leeza Gibbons: A Portrait of a DR Icon

by Vi Paynich on Jul 1, 2015 8:30:00 PM D2C Convention, Moxie Awards, DRTV, ERA 25th Anniversary

Television viewers may know Leeza Gibbons as the popular cohost of the entertainment news show Entertainment Tonight and more recently as the winner of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice this past spring. However, Leeza is not just a celebrated television personality and bestselling author, but also an entrepreneur and humanitarian. She devotes much of her time advocating for healthcare, wellness, and caregiving. And through her celebrity, Leeza continues to bring greater public awareness about Alzheimer’s disease.

A successful businesswoman, Leeza has maintained a longtime partnership with Guthy-Renker, representing the Sheer Cover line of beauty products. Her warm and inviting demeanor on television has brought a powerful authenticity to the Sheer Cover brand, and therefore, has helped to make it a household name.

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[1996] A Brave New World of Interactive Consumers

by Megan Becker on Jun 17, 2015 6:45:00 PM ERA 25th Anniversary

Similar to what we are experiencing today, 1996 was a year of change for the direct response industry. There was a plethora of new media outlets, increased accessibility to the Internet, and big changes in how people were consuming media. Sound familiar? Just as we are experiencing a shift in the marketplace today, this new way of reaching consumers threw everyone for a loop. 

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[1994] Bruce Jenner Brings Star Power to Annual Convention

by Megan Becker on Jun 4, 2015 12:05:00 PM ERA 25th Anniversary

Decked out in 90’s workout gear, Bruce and Kris Jenner stepped into the infomercial scene with the release of the Power Walk Plus, SuperFit with Bruce Jenner and SuperStep. These “winning workouts” put the duo on the radar in the direct response world, and landed Bruce a speaking spot and invitation to the grand opening at the industry’s annual convention. 

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Entrepreneur Creates a Blueprint for DRTV Success

by Electronic Retailer Magazine on May 14, 2015 2:30:00 AM DRTV, ERA 25th Anniversary

In 2010, Electronic Retailer magazine featured a series of interviews with industry veterans and asked them to reflect on their long career in direct response marketing. Richard Stacey, president and CEO of Northern Response (Int'l) Ltd., was among those featured. He discussed his early beginnings in DRTV and shared what he learned along the way.
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Richard Simmons Brings Enthusiasm and Energy to Call Center

by Jim Speidel on Apr 30, 2015 3:17:00 AM ERA 25th Anniversary

Back in the early 90’s, only a few years after West was formed, Deal-A-Meal was one of the hottest direct response programs running. American Telecast was our client and, of course, Richard Simmons was the spokesman and marketer of Deal-A-Meal.

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[1994] The First 10 Years of Infomercials

by Megan Becker on Apr 23, 2015 1:00:00 AM ERA 25th Anniversary

A lot has changed since the 1980’s…hairstyles, music, fashion trends…but what about the art of infomercials? This throwback video from 1994 celebrates the 10th anniversary year of infomercials and showcases how the industry started and the most popular spots that put this advertising art form on the map for consumers. 

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[2011] International DRTV Marketer Shares an Eye-Opening Experience

by Megan Becker on Apr 16, 2015 3:35:00 AM Advocacy, ERA 25th Anniversary

HArry-Hill_280Interstate transport, privacy, and tracking were hot button issues in direct response in 2011, but what are the things keeping marketers up at night in 2015? The Government Affairs Fly-In is the one opportunity you have during the year to take control over the future of our industry and your business.
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[2014] A Celebration of the "Queen of Infomercials"

by Megan Becker on Apr 8, 2015 5:54:00 PM Moxie Awards, ERA 25th Anniversary

When Collette Liantonio was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2014 Moxie Awards Gala, the packed room erupted into a standing ovation for the DRTV veteran. After an entertaining glimpse into Liantonio's successful career, she took the stage and delivered the speech of the night which sent chills down the spines of the audience and online viewers. 

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What's in a Name? A DRTV Executive Learns the Hard Way

by Brendan Condon on Apr 2, 2015 3:00:00 AM DRTV, ERA 25th Anniversary

As part of our ongoing “Memory Lane” series commemorating ERA’s 25th anniversary, here is a funny industry story from Brendan Condon of Media Properties Holdings/REVShare.

A number of years ago when I was working for Time, Inc., we were changing healthcare plans, and since it was a somewhat arduous task to get employees to do the paperwork in a timely fashion, one of the central admins was assigned to assist us in filling out the forms.
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[2002] Jack LaLanne Brought His Passion for Healthy Living to the DRTV Industry

by Vi Paynich on Mar 26, 2015 3:00:00 AM DRTV, ERA 25th Anniversary

It's hard to believe that if Jack LaLanne were alive today, he would be 100 years old! And no doubt, he would still be working out and juicing every single day. Known as the "Godfather of Fitness," LaLanne spent decades inspiring people to get fit through daily exercise and healthy nutrition. His generous spirit and charismatic presence made him a natural for the television medium, not to mention a revered figure in the DRTV world.

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[2002] Getting in Touch with the Feminine Side of DRTV

by Megan Becker on Mar 19, 2015 11:14:00 AM ERA 25th Anniversary

The ladies of DRTV kicked off the 2002 ERA Annual Conference & Exposition (now the ERA D2C Convention) with a general session that highlighted the entrepreneurial spirit of the direct response industry. Their session titled "Get in Touch with Your Feminine $ide" showcased the women executives who shared their insights about marketing to women, and identified key trends impacting the industry.

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Celebrating 25 Years of ERA

by Julie Coons on Mar 17, 2015 5:32:00 PM ERA 25th Anniversary

ERA started the new year strong by marking its 25th anniversary during The Great Ideas Summit in January. What better way to commemorate this historic occasion than with a party attended by ERA’s many loyal and longstanding members? 

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[1991] Thighmaster Infomercial Made Suzanne Somers a DRTV Icon

by Vi Paynich on Mar 12, 2015 3:00:00 AM DRTV, ERA 25th Anniversary

Have you heard the news? Suzanne Somers has joined the cast of Dancing with the Stars season 20. That's right…the 68-year-old will be competing against dancers more than half her age, but that's not likely to deter her at all. Somers has been an advocate for health and fitness for decades. And to those in direct response, she will forever be known as the DRTV icon who taught us how to "squeeze" our way to shapely hips and thighs!

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[1999] Infomercial "Gringa" Wins Big!

by Robin Behar on Mar 4, 2015 6:54:00 PM ERA 25th Anniversary

In 1999, when I was working for Katie Williams in Latin/South America, my colleague, Stan Bruckheim, and I were invited to an Advertiser Lunch in Mexico City at the second largest broadcaster in Mexico, TV Azteca. Our firm was the leading "infomercial" company advertising on TV Azteca at that time. You have to remember, in the late '90s infomercials still kind of had a bad rap—we were just getting legitimized particularly outside of the United States. The advertising luncheon was full of high-level ad executives from McDonald's, P&G, Quaker State, Johnson and Johnson, and other multi-national brands. And to say I was the only "gringa" in the room, well, would be telling the truth.

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[1992] CBS This Morning: Behind the Infomercials

by Megan Becker on Feb 26, 2015 1:48:00 AM ERA 25th Anniversary

As part of our “Memory Lane” series commemorating ERA’s 25th anniversary, we're sharing one of the most memorable on-camera interviews from the '90s.

Following the 1992 NIMA Annual Convention in Las Vegas, Paula Zahn sat down with Advertising Age columnist Bob Garfield, who uncovered some astounding truths about the illustrious world of infomercial advertising that captivates millions of viewers.

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Classic DRTV: Ginsu 2000 Infomercial Is a Cut Above

by Vi Paynich on Feb 19, 2015 3:00:00 AM DRTV, ERA 25th Anniversary

As part of our “Memory Lane” series commemorating ERA’s 25th anniversary, we're saluting some of the most memorable direct response products from the past 25 years.

In this classic infomercial from 1990, watch as the Ginsu 2000 knife saws through a lead pipe with great precision, and then slices a tomato with ease.

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A Teleservices Tale: Dial "M" for Memory

by Marty Fahncke on Feb 12, 2015 3:00:00 AM ERA 25th Anniversary

As part of our “Memory Lane” series commemorating ERA’s 25th anniversary, Barton Publishing's Marty Fahncke shares one of his funniest industry memories.

I started out in the DR business on the ground floor, as a call-center agent taking inbound 800 calls. There is no end to [the] funny stories from callers who called to order, complain, or just talk because they were lonely. But my favorite had to be a caller who was calling to place an order with a unique way of remembering her address:
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Live Shopping Host Realizes Guest Isn't Ready for His Close Up

by Mel Arthur on Feb 5, 2015 2:30:00 AM ERA 25th Anniversary

As part of our “Memory Lane” series commemorating ERA’s 25th anniversary, industry veteran Mel Arthur shares one of his funniest industry memories.

When I was a host at HSN, we would meet with our show guests in the Green Room. This night, my first item was some type of universal remote control. Let’s call the guest ‘Bob’ (the names are changed to protect the innocent—or, in this case, the guilty). As soon as I walked in, Bob grabbed my hand and told me how excited he was to be on with me. His dream was to be a prime-time host on HSN. He said that together, we were going to "Kill them," and that his item would be the highlight of the day.
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DRTV Newbie Survives Karaoke Calamity!

by Nicole Andani on Jan 29, 2015 3:00:00 PM ERA 25th Anniversary

As part of our “Memory Lane” series commemorating ERA’s 25th anniversary, Northern Response’s Nicole Andani shares one of her funniest industry memories.

The year was 1996, the show was NIMA (Las Vegas), the marketing channel, as there was no real e-commerce website channel at the time, was still TV advertising only. The hair was big and teased, the clothes were still ’80s inspired with a trickle of ’90s twists.

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25th Anniversary Party Ignites Great Ideas

by Megan Becker on Jan 26, 2015 8:36:00 PM Great Ideas Summit, ERA 25th Anniversary

The Great Ideas Summit got off to a sparkling start with the ERA 25th Anniversary Party sponsored by Venable LLP! Check out these photos and see what an awesome time we had networking and partying in Miami Beach!

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It Was a DRTV Hit (Literally!)

by Frank Cannella on Jan 22, 2015 3:00:00 AM ERA 25th Anniversary

As part of our ongoing “Memory Lane” series commemorating ERA’s 25th anniversary, here is a funny industry story from Frank Cannella of Cannella Response Television, LLC.

I was in a client meeting on a consulting project back in the ’90s. We were in one of the most idyllic settings in the middle of the wilderness—beautiful country. Nothing around us but running rivers, trees everywhere, and lots of moose and black flies. Anyone who knows me knows this is my kind of meeting. Other than the black flies, of course.

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Editorial Disclaimer

The statements, opinions, and advertisements expressed on the ERA Blog and other online entities owned by the Electronic Retailing Association are those of individual authors and companies and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Electronic Retailing Association.